Removal of Traffic Signals on Route 9
and Main Street Improvements
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w The effect of the additional traffic on Main Street, despite the operational benefits of the proposed bumpouts
w The view obstruction of the Connecticut River by the southern elevated section of Route 9 southbound
Subsequent to this meeting, the Department met with City of Middletown (City) officials to discuss scope modifications. Several alternatives were developed to address the concerns of the public. After meetings with the City, impacted property owners, and critical stakeholders the Department has scheduled a second public informational meeting.
The projects are identified as State Project Numbers 0082-0318, 0082-0319, and 0082-0320. This meeting is a follow-up to the Public Informational Meeting held on July 26, 2016.
Project 0082-0318 is proposed to reduce congestion, improve safety, and improve access to downtown Middletown by removing two existing traffic signals on Route 9. Connecticut Route 9 is a north/south running freeway except for a short section of non-freeway in the downtown Middletown area where it overlaps with Route 17. This section of Route 9 stretches for approximately 0.36 miles (from exit 15 to exit 16) and includes two at-grade signalized intersections. These signalized intersections contribute to significant delays and crashes. The most recent three year crash history (January 2015 to December 2017) shows that there were 313 crashes resulting in 91 injuries including 1 fatality within the project limits.
The existing three-way signalized intersection of Route 9 and Hartford Avenue (Exit 16) provides access to and from Hartford Avenue in the northbound and southbound directions. The proposed design will eliminate the left-turning movements from Route 9 northbound onto Hartford Avenue in order to reduce conflict points and remove signalization. An at-grade deceleration lane will be provided for southbound Route 9 traffic in order to maintain access to Hartford Avenue. Access to Route 9 northbound will be maintained by constructing a bridge to convey Route 9 southbound over Hartford Avenue. Route 9 southbound will be accessible from Hartford Avenue with a free-flow acceleration lane.
In order to provide access to downtown Middletown from Route 9 northbound, a bridge will be constructed to convey northbound vehicles over Route 9 southbound as well as the railroad tracks and yard. The off-ramp will intersect Rapallo Avenue at a new signalized intersection. To the west of this intersection Rapallo Avenue will be one way towards Main Street while two-way travel will be maintained to the east.
The existing traffic signal on Route 9 at the intersection of Washington Street extended allows for access to Washington Street from the northbound and southbound directions and from Washington Street to southbound Route 9. The proximity of deKoven Drive to this intersection creates a large footprint with abnormal traffic operations. The proposed design will eliminate the Route 9 northbound and southbound access to Washington Street to reduce conflict points. Access to Route 9 southbound from Washington Street will be maintained with an at-grade acceleration lane. The lane configuration on Washington Street will be modified to provide a dedicated left turn lane onto deKoven Drive as well.
The proposed work includes the addition of two turn lanes on St. John’s Square westbound. Widening will occur on the southbound side in order to incorporate the two new lanes as well as a proposed median island. In addition, geometric improvements will be made to the intersection by way of median islands on Main Street that will serve to normalize the alignment. Rapallo Avenue, which currently consists of one lane in each direction and on-street parking on both sides of the street, will be converted into a one-way street in the westbound direction with limited on-street parking. Grand Street will be widened for the addition of an eastbound turn lane. Widening will also occur at the northwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street to accommodate a dedicated right-turn lane.
Construction of the Main Street bump-outs (0082-0319) is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2019 followed by the construction of St. John’s Square at Main Street (0082-0320) in the summer of 2019 and lastly the removal of the traffic signals (0082-0318) in the summer of 2020. The estimated construction cost for all three projects is $70 million and will be undertaken with 80% Federal funding and 20% State funding.
The Public Informational Meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning the proposed projects. This meeting will also serve as a CEPA scoping meeting to gather and analyze information from the public and various state agencies to help determine the proper level of environmental review and documentation necessary for the project.
The meeting facility is ADA accessible. Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Office of Communications at (860) 594-3062 at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting. Persons having a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public, and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance.
Plans of the proposed projects will be on display for public review. Department personnel will be available during the meeting to discuss the project. Detailed information is available at the Department’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Connecticut, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact the Department by e-mail at DOT.Rte9Middletown@ct.gov. Plans are also available for review at the Middletown City Hall.